Points Left on the Table Could be Costly

Mar 27, 2022; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers defender Zac McGraw (18) defends Orlando City
Mar 27, 2022; Portland, Oregon, USA; Portland Timbers defender Zac McGraw (18) defends Orlando City / Troy Wayrynen-USA TODAY Sports

Getting four points on a west coast road trip is an undeniable success for Orlando City. A win against the Los Angeles Galaxy and a credible draw with the Portland Timbers is a run of results any team in the league would take.

But the matter in which the draw happened in Portland is a worrying and disappointing development.

Through five games, Orlando City has two wins, two draws and a loss. I would argue that all five games could've and arguably should've been wins, and these early dropped points could be costly down the stretch.

Against Portland, it was an obvious bottle job. Orlando had a one-goal lead and a man advantage and didn't concede any real chances in the entire second half, but an unnecessary foul in the box by Andres Perea gave away a penalty and the three points in Portland.

In the abstract, a draw in the Rose City is great, but in practice, bungling three points in that matter is disappointing.

Against FC Cincinnati, Orlando was far too wasteful with its chances. The Lions had 69% possession and twice as many shots as the visitors on the night, but couldn't do anything with the ball in the final third down the stretch. Maybe it's harsh of me to say Orlando should've won that match, but given the competition and opportunities, not getting at least a point is a disappointment.

The draw against Chicago was hard fought and sloppy, and would've been a gritty win had VAR not overruled Junior Urso's late goal, so I won't fault the team for that, but it's lost points all the same.

Had Orlando taken full advantage or had a little more luck in this opening month, it would've given them a fat cushion to build upon as the schedule gets harder. This month, Orlando plays five games all against current playoff teams, including LAFC, who have the best record in the league, and the New York Red Bulls, a notoriously difficult team for Orlando to play against.

With the grueling grind of the MLS schedule, dropping points can be costly. Orlando will hit a patch of bad form eventually, and when that day comes, we'll look back at this opening run and think of what could've been.